HL Deb 10 May 1988 vol 496 c1117WA
Lord Jenkins of Putney

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they consider that the Soviet Union is restrained from attacking Western Europe by NATO's possession of nuclear weapons and if not what is their purpose.

Lord Trefgarne

NATO's aim is to deter war. Its strategy of flexible response depends on the maintenance of an adequate mix of both nuclear and conventional forces to enable the alliance to respond effectively to aggression at whatever level it may occur. A potential aggressor could not predict the scale or nature of such a response. History has shown that conventional forces alone do not deter aggression.